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The summer of 2020 is one that history will look back on with both reverence and disgust. Millions of people flooded the streets of almost every major American city for months in protest of the murder of George Floyd, Atatiana Jefferson, and dozens of other Black men and women who lost their lives to police violence.

The government’s reaction, both local and federal, only stood to prove the protesters’ point that police are doing physical and mental harm to innocent citizens.

One of those citizens is Benjamin Montemayor who, according to an LA Times report, was holding a protest sign with his friend when he was shot in the testicles with a 40mm foam projectile from an LAPD officer’s less-than-lethal weapon.

The projectile caused major damage and Montemayor promptly sued.

“Such weapons can cause devastating injuries, especially at close range. The round fired at Montemayor caused his testicles to immediately swell, the right one to the size of a grapefruit, his lawsuit alleged. He was rushed into emergency surgery — which involved “piecing back together portions of his testicle which had exploded,” his lawsuit said.

Ex-LAPD Chief Michel Moore and the Use of Force Review Board concluded that the shooting was justified, however, the Los Angeles Police Commission ruled otherwise. As a result, Montemayor has been awarded $1.5 million which the biggest settlement of any of the protesters who filed lawsuits against the LAPD for excessive force during the months of civil unrest.

The LA Times reports also notes that protester Deon Jones was awarded $860,000 after he was shot in the face with an LAPD projectile and Iz Sinistra was awarded $1.25 million after being shot in the head with the same weapon.


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